year 2016, week 34.
I have a hard time making something from my photographs. I’d like to say that I put so much energy into making them that I can’t find any more to make them into something else. But that would be a lie.
And it’s not that I don’t try. I do. I create books and post series of work to my website. But I don’t ever fully commit to that part of the work. I often get it good enough and settle. Which then makes it okay (in my mind) to walk away when it doesn’t reach its full potential.
When I see other people putting their whole being into making something bigger than each single photograph I really am encouraged. I push to help them get it out to the world because I can only imagine (literally) what it took to make the book or gallery show or photo essay.
Where would some of my projects be if I applied the energy required to make them into what they deserve?
Yesterday I wrote something that I have only told myself before. That took a lot. And I felt like that earned me a day off from writing. So today’s blurb was going to be blank.
But I realized that would be just feeding the monster that I wrote about yesterday. Fuck being lazy. Writing these are starting to feeling pretty great and I think instead of pulling back I should lean into it more. Write longer each day. Don’t pull back when I think I did a good job, but push ahead until it is my best.
The weeks have flown by and I have written a lot. I don’t know how much I’ve said in these. Maybe I should go back and read them. Maybe revisit them and see if I can expand more on them. Keep myself honest and follow through. That was the biggest lesson I learned in baseball. Follow through. If you really want to hit your target aim for beyond it. Hit through the ball. Throw through the catcher. I’m sure there is a song that goes something like that.
Tonight I meet with some other great photographers to talk and plan some great things. It really is a pleasure to do that. This is for some serious business too and I just hope that I can keep up and show my worth.
I was thinking about my website this morning. How I really don’t use it or update it. I was thinking I should just get rid of it. But then I thought about how other photographers use their website as a portfolio with just a few bodies of work if not a single body of work.
That led me to think about the path of photographers. How we start by casting such a wide net and have such grand ambitions. As time goes by we drop our fringe interests and focus more and more on the subjects that hold our attention.
It would be great to find some older photographers that run counter to this theory. I am sure they are out there and I’d love to see their work.
As for my website, I think I just need to pay more attention to it. Put on there some content I am sharing in other places. Let it be a wide net, while still being curated and focused. That is how my mind works and it should reflect that.
“Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong.”
That song was playing as I opened this to start writing. Those words stick with me every time I hear that song. For all I know in a few years I will realize I’ve been wrong about everything. Or maybe I’ll be wrong about things then. Who knows?
I started to make new work on two different projects last weeks. They kind of tie together but are also separate in a lot of ways. It will be interesting to see if they merge as they progress or if they will stay apart. I am excited that I can leave my house and in a few minutes I am in the location to shoot both of them. It really allows me to be creative in a small amount of time but also have a rich and dense amount of subject matter.
Whether or not to start sharing the work from the start or wait until I have a really solid 10–15 photographic sequence is the question. Right now I am leaning toward working hard on creating the work. Then reaching out to a gallery or other creatives and curators to see what they think of the work. This isn’t a path I’ve done lately. To keep it close to my chest and plan for one big release. Maybe that will help me devote more of myself to it instead of giving up on it when I just put it on Instagram or my website.
I am finding myself in a place where I have the chance to engage the local photography community. An older organization needing to reach a younger demographic to stay alive and relevant. And to bring the next generation into the fold of what is happening on a larger scale in their industry.
Time to step up or walk away.
As I typed the previous paragraph things just got more interesting. I stepped up. And why not? It might not be a paid gig, but photography isn’t what sustains me or my family financially anyway. Photography sustains me mentally. It is cerebral.